March 26, 2007

Delighting in the Lord

by Professor Robert J. Barth

Delighting in the Lord

When I am away from my family for several days, it is a joy to come home. My children usually greet me with joyful cheers and I am touched by the delight they express in seeing their daddy again.

When David wrote in Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night,” he was speaking of spending time with God. David was not motivated by a “have to” or “should” mindset, but by a “want to” motive. David was energized and blessed by spending time with his Lord. He did this by singing psalms, prayer, and by meditating on His law (Torah). God’s law embodies the nature, character, righteousness, justice, holiness, love, and mercy of God. David pursued God by “eating” His word. Thus, David gained wisdom and knew God’s ways, and could say with confidence that whoever meditates on the law of God “would bring forth fruit in his season” and that “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Today, not only do we have the written word or law of God, but also we have the Word that became flesh, Jesus the Christ (John 1:14). Jesus fulfilled the law of God (Mt. 5:17, Luke 24:44) and through Him we receive “grace and truth” (John 1:14, 17). Plus, we have the privilege of being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) who will lead us into all truth (John 16:13).

Delighting in the Lord and His law, presupposes a love for God and a desire to be with Him. Do you have that desire? Do you hunger after God? Can you say, as David did, “As a hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul (will, mind, and emotions) after thee, O God” (Ps. 42:1)?

If not, I suggest that you “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Surrender in prayer and ask God to give you a heart-felt revelation of His love for you. I often fail, but my children know that I love them and want the best for them. They want to spend time with me and delight in me, and I in them. We often fail God, but He still loves us. In fact, Jesus said, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). I encourage you to pray as the Apostle Paul did that you “May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19).

You cannot earn God’s love; He already loves you. But you do need to come to God by the only means that He provided to experience His love – faith in Jesus Christ. You must admit your sinfulness, confess your faith that Jesus’ shed blood covers (atones for) your sins, and thank God for His gift of salvation through faith in Jesus. When you begin to comprehend the love that God has for you, you will agree with the Apostle Paul that “the love of Christ constraineth [and compels] us” (II Cor. 5:14) to live as He desires, and you will know what it means to delight in the Lord.

Delighting in the Lord

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About the Author

Professor Robert J. Barth
A graduate of the University of Illinois (B.S. 1976), Professor Robert J. Barth received his Juris Doctor from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1979. He received his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Regent University in 1986. From 1986 to 1995, Professor Barth was associated with Regent University School of Law in several capacities, including assistant dean for academic and student affairs, and editor of the Journal of Christian Jurisprudence. He has written several articles, and as the director for academic programs, he has authored Oak Brook College’s book, Renewing Your Mind as You Study Law.

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